Welcome to the 4th and final part of my Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend recap! Today's post covers everything you need to know about the Induction Ceremony itself!
- Cooperstown - Getting There
- The Baseball Hall of Fame
- Awards Ceremony/The Parade of Legends
- Induction Ceremony
If there's one thing I can't stress enough to you, it's the fact that you NEED to purchase folding lawn chairs and/or a blanket and set it out on the induction ceremony grounds EARLY. Seriously, as we drove into Cooperstown on Friday afternoon (the ceremony was on Sunday), spectators were already staking out their spots on the grounds. All of them were willing to leave their chairs/blankets on the grounds and step away from them (for nights at a time), but I didn't see any problems all weekend with theft or anything like that.
Seats ARE available in the "reserved seating" section up front, but the only way to get them (to my knowledge) is to become a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame President's Circle or purchase a Travel Package for the weekend.
Another tip is to arrive in Cooperstown early on Sunday morning. In our case, there were 45,000 fans packed into this tiny town and we were grateful that we arrived around 8:30 a.m. for a parking spot in one of the trolley lots.
Also, be prepared to WALK! Even though trolley and bus services are available for use, sometimes the lines are crazy long - it was worth it to us to walk to our destination instead of standing in line for a bus for a long time.
While waiting for the ceremony, my dad, husband, and I decided to walk downtown to tour the Hall of Fame one last time. After our tour, we purchased a hamburger from a vendor who was selling them in town. You'll find this all over Cooperstown during the weekend - church groups, families, kids...they pitch a tent and sell different types of food/beverages and most of the time, proceeds go towards a good cause!
The local high school was selling hot dogs on the day of the induction ceremony (at the induction site), but they ran out in no time. They also sold water/gatorade/tea at the induction site and told Kayla they sold over 5,000 bottles of water that day!
Here's a shot of a cross section of the Induction Ceremony grounds - this doesn't include the crowd behind me. It was crazy!
It's always more fun to experience something like this with a friend or family! :)
Once the ceremony begins, there are lots of introductions, everyone sings the National Anthem, then all of the Hall of Famers who are at the ceremony are introduced and join together one by one on the stage...
The last of those to come on stage are the new Hall of Fame members (you can see them sitting all the way to the left of the picture).
There might be a few presentations (in our case, one by the Secretary of the Navy), then each new inductee gives a speech.
Craig's was my favorite - I really liked John Smoltz's speech, too!
- The ceremony lasted around 2 to 2 and a half hours.
- It takes place rain or shine, so be prepared for any type of weather!
- Bring your sunscreen!!
- Don't forget a lawn chair.
- Arrive early and prepare to sit for a while.
- Bring a cooler with water bottles - it will be your saving grace, especially if it's a warm summer day!
After the ceremony, we decided to join the masses and walk back to the trolley lot (about a mile) instead of waiting in line for the buses or trolley.
I honestly felt like I was in the start of a WDW runDisney race again! :D
Overall, we had an INCREDIBLE time and I would do this all over again in a heart beat! I loved being there with so many Houston fans as we cheered on our hometown favorite. I also loved experiencing this with my dad and family!
If you're planning a trip in the future, I hope these posts help with the planning process and what to expect! Email me if you have any questions or need anything!! :) email@example.com
Have a fabulous day! Play ball! :)